Monday, October 19, 2009

"Eating The Dinosaur" by Chuck Klosterman

What are the odds of me buying and reading 2 books in a 3-weeek span???
Slim-to-NY MLS Cup Champs, my friends.

I know I say this all the time, but I love it when random shit I blabber on about in this tiny empty room of a blog all come together in a big tin foil ball of coincidence.  All of the following happened today:  I finished reading the last book I mentioned*, where I dropped a Klosterman reference.  I quoted Klosterman earlier while babbling about my one of my favorite pop culture icons.  Now I find out that he has a new book out, written in his usual, essay-form, subject jumping style.

Something I just noticed:  The 2 recent post in which I referenced Chuck Klosterman are the 2 longest, and most rambling things I've ever "published" here.  Is there some sub-conscious reason for this?  I have to assume so.

Anyway, check out what Amazon had to say:
A Book of All-New Pop Culture Pieces by Chuck Klosterman
Chuck Klosterman has chronicled rock music, film, and sports for almost fifteen years. He's covered extreme metal, extreme nostalgia, disposable art, disposable heroes, life on the road, life through the television, urban uncertainty and small-town weirdness. Through a variety of mediums and with a multitude of motives, he's written about everything he can think of (and a lot that he's forgotten). The world keeps accelerating, but the pop ideas keep coming.
In Eating the Dinosaur, Klosterman is more entertaining and incisive than ever. Whether he's dissecting the boredom of voyeurism, the reason why music fan's inevitably hate their favorite band's latest album, or why we love watching can't-miss superstars fail spectacularly, Klosterman remains obsessed with the relationship between expectation, reality, and living history. It's amateur anthropology for the present tense, and sometimes it's incredibly funny.
Q: What is this book about?
A: Well, that's difficult to say. I haven't read it yet - I've just clicked on it and casually glanced at this webpage. There clearly isn't a plot. I've heard there's a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don't laugh when they're inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women. Supposedly there's a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I'm misinformed.
Q: Is there a larger theme?
A: Oh, something about reality. "What is reality," maybe? No, that's not it. Not exactly. I get the sense that most of the core questions dwell on the way media perception constructs a fake reality that ends up becoming more meaningful than whatever actually happened.
Q: Should I read this book?
A: Probably. Do you see a clear relationship between the Branch Davidian disaster and the recording of Nirvana's In Utero? Does Barack Obama make you want to drink Pepsi? Does ABBA remind you of AC/DC? If so, you probably don't need to read this book. You probably wrote this book. But I suspect everybody else will totally love it, except for the ones who absolutely hate it.
* Did anyone else read Shoplifting From American Apparel?  There's SO MUCH I could say about that "book", but I won't bother doing it here, because I doubt anyone cares.

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